Eastgate Friends & More Adventureland

We’ve had a break in the heat.  This past week it has cooled down to the 80’s.  So much nicer.  Makes your day at the park so much more enjoyable.  In fact last Tue. it rained all day, so they closed the park.  That does not happen very often.  One evening I worked in Alpine which is in front of the park.  I forgot my hat, so I went back in the morning to get it.  I went in through the employees entrance about a half hour before opening.  I retrieved my hat and decided to have a wonderful waffle cone made with Blue Bunny Ice creamThe Creamery faces the opening of the gates into the square.  The girl said it was something to witness the opening of the park from the inside, so I sat their and waited…..and watched….

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Our park characters came out to welcome everyone at the gates…..One of them is Bernie the St. Bernard……They each go to the 2 different gate openings.

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Finally it was 10 am….The gates on both sides of the carousel opened.  They were like a herd of cattle….Stampeding…..It was crazy they way they came in running as fast as they could to be the first…..lol….Not only the kids, the adults too….

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Here is the inside of the Creamery.  Very cheerful and bright….As I turned around to look through the doors, all the people came running from the 2 gates, converging on Main St..….For my own safety, I stayed inside until the “HERD” had passed…..Then I walked out with my wonderful Waffle cone filled with Chocolate Mint and Praline Pecans…..Mmmmmmm….so good…..

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On my way out another Park Greeter…..Glad he has a Cane……Long fall if he tripped….

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This week Rich has been the A-Train Engineer….The first picture is the station.  Now this was an extremely hot day.  That’s why the kids look so miserable…..lol… A friend of ours, Ron, asked his wife to come and take some pictures of Rich.  I was trying to figure out how to take these pictures as I can’t bring in my phone.   Theresa came in probably one of the hottest days.   She did an awesome job.  These pictures are so nice.  Thanks again Theresa.  Ron and Theresa will also be joining us at Eastgate this winter…..Can’t Wait….

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THE A-TRAIN     With Engineer Rich…..

This is my favorite picture.  The train makes a round trip about every 15 minutes…..It Choo-choos as it leaves and comes into the station, and also has the old time bells that clang as it comes in also….Really neat….Now for our day off on a Friday……….

A friend from Eastgate text me, Gail.   Gail and Dewey live near Kansas City.  They wanted to come up and have lunch….We were so excited to see them.   We met at Olive Garden on the west side of Des Moines.  It was easier for them as it was a direct shot from their house.

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We had such a wonderful visit with them.  We probably sat their for over 2 hours.  The waitress was very gracious.  Gail and Dewey were winter residents of Eastgate for over 17 years.  They both had other mates.  Gail’s husband passed a number of years back, and her and Dewey got together.     Such a wonderful Happy couple.   Rich played pool with Dewey.  He is a Pool Shark….lol…He is good and he believes in …..RULES……Don’t mess with him….Gail also plays pool.  The women have their own pool time at the hall.  Last February, they decided it was time to leave.  It was sad but times change.   Gail was missing out on her family as it grew.  They both wanted to leave in a car….not a Body Bag.   Sounds morbid doesn’t it.  But many do.

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This is their new adventure in life.  They are looking for that first house together.  In the mean time they are living with Gail’s daughter.  They  are such a Super Couple.  We miss them, but they are really enjoying life.  Thank You guys for taking the time to come and visit us…….  Happy Trails…….

Another thing I want to mention is our daughter Tina,  has a new Job.  She works at the Putnam County Court house in Illinois as the Deputy Probation Officer. 

2016-07-31-11.44.27.jpg.jpg  She has now moved over to the Circuit Clerks office.  She is now a Deputy Circuit Clerk. 

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This is her new office.  We think this is pretty exciting news.  Putnam County is the smallest county’s in Illinois.  It consists of 6 small towns.  In fact some are just villages.  It has 1 school district consisting of 1 high school in Granville, 1 junior high outside of McNabb, and 2 other elementary schools in Hennepin and Granville.  Lots of busing for the students, but it is a great county and school district to bring up your children.  All 3 kids ended up moving back to Putnam Co.  All the grandkids are attending school their.   Remember when you were a kid?  You couldn’t wait to graduate to leave and never come back…..lol….and then you grow up…..Common sense moves in….

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I’ll close this blog with a few more pictures of the “Monster”.   I never get tired of watching it.  As I work games in the County Fair area, I look up and see the Monster all day.   This was another picture taken by Theresa……..Yep….Not for me…

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Nite time….It is such a beautiful site at night……You hear the car flying over the rails…The people screaming at every turn….the lights are dazzling….Music in the distance….If you look close, in the center you will see the cars on the Sky Ride…..It goes from one end of the park to the other at tree top level.  That will help you understand the size of the “Monster”….It travels through the loops of the Monster.  It was purchased from the 1974 Worlds Fair in Spokane Washington.   Amazing isn’t it.   Many of these rides have such a wonderful history.

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This is another cool picture……The Storm Search looking through the loop of the Monster.  The Storm Search was added in 2014.   So only 3 weeks left of the park being open 7 days a week.  After the 3rd week in August, it will open only weekends……

Whewwww……Were going to make it after all…..I had my doubts for awhile……

 

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4th of July….Adventureland

The 4th was a beautiful weekend.  The temps had cooled down to mid 80’s.  We even brought our sweatshirts several days as the evenings were so cool.  The park was open till 10pm on Fri. Sat. and Sun.  Of course we have Fridays off together now.  We went across the street to Prairie Meadows Casino and Race Track for lunch.

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They had a great buffet with everything one could ever want.  Salad and Dessert bars were to die for.  lol.   Yes all for only $21 for both of us.  You could almost spent that at McDonalds.  After we went up just one floor and checked out the casino.

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Pretty typical of a casino.  All the same machines and tables.  It was decorated very colorful and all the bells were ringing of course.  The one thing I don’t remember was the smell of Cigarettes.  Must be smoke free.  But I still seen the people gambling with their Oxygen tubes hooked up.  Sad isn’t it, that’s all they have to do.  SSI check comes in and off they go to gamble.  We walked to the back and that’s where the big windows were that looked out over the Horse Race Track.

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The water trucks were preparing the track for the weekend races.  Their were lots of outside tables to the right and left of the picture and inside their were all the box seats.  Seems like a lot for just a few minutes of racing.   I guess I just have never appreciated horse racing.

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We left deciding to come back again for the buffet……Excellent….and maybe spending $20 next time gambling.  lol  .  Saturday and Sunday, we of course worked.  Rich is working the Himalaya this week as the Operator this time.  This gives him an enclosed area that has AC.  How nice.  I was up in the Alpine Arcade area.

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These pictures are taken with my old camera, as we cannot take our phones in to work…..Bummer…..The quality of colors inside is ok, but outside in the evening, they are horrible.  This is called Water Gun Fun.  Its a squirt gun game.  I worked this game all day.

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This was my friend Carolina, (pronounced Catalina, like the dressing) who was my reliever during break.  She is from Brazil, and is really a neat person to talk to with her accent.  More about her later.  The prizes are these cute little dragons.

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Another picture of the Arcade area.

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These girls are the Manager and Assist. Manager of Alpine for the nite.  Very nice girls, both still in High School, but very good at what they do.  Jordyn on the left and Morgan on the right.  We can tell what our positions are by the striping on our shirts under the arms.  Ours are a light blue.  Now Morgan’s is more of a medium blue, which designates an Assistant Manager.  Jordyn’s, if you could see hers, has a black insert.  That is for managers.  All areas have the same shirts so it is easy to tell what their position is.  Then by reading their name tag, you can tell what area they are in, Games, Rides, Retail or Foods.  All Company or important people…..lol…are dressed in Black shirts and Kaki colored slacks.

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This is a picture of the Big Wheel…..So much prettier than this.  In this picture the lights blended together, when their were really many different colors….That’s what the ole camera does.  lol.  But it is just beautiful at night.   All the pretty colors of the rides as they go around and round.   The sounds of the different rides and the laughter and voices of the kids.  And theirs always the sound of the train whistle as they start their ride on the rails.  At 9:30 pm Prairie Meadows had a fireworks display, but we couldn’t see anything because of the trees, but we sure could hear it.  Beautiful sounds.  The next night was the 4th of July.  I worked in County Fair.

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I worked the Goblets Game.  This is a game of chance.  You toss a whiffle ball in the rink.  If it falls on white, you lose.  Yellow gets you a small snake. Red is a medium and the center blue is a large.  You can also trade up.  3 small makes a medium, 3 med. makes a large.  Several guys came up and played and played.  You can also buy a bucket of balls with a small prize in it.

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After lots of laughter and money spent,  these guys won and traded up to several large snakes.   Notice the one kid has the snake head on top his head.  They had won many other prizes.  Now I am pretty sure that they had to have spent way over $100 to win all these stuffed animals.  But they sure had a good time winning.

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As the evening progressed I watched the Storm Chaser.  It is so cool to be near it when it goes up.  They leave their shoes and belongings on the ground as they will lose them.

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This is the Storm Chaser as the sun set and darkness came.  Such a beautiful site.

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This camera doesn’t show of the true colors.

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Once it reaches the top, it goes around faster and the swings swing way out.

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Finally it came time for the Parks fireworks.  They were set off on the other side of the park.  We were allowed to walk up a ways to watch.  We could only see the high ones, over the Monster.  They were pretty.

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The beautiful lights of the rides, the music playing in the different areas, and the laughter of the people made it a magical evening with the park closing at 10 pm.  Now that our golf cart  is here, it is so easy to go home.  Rich parks it right at the Security gate.  We meet each other there when the park closes and head home.  That nite the traffic was horrible.  The cops were directing traffic, which was stopped…….and we just drove off through the parking lot and sidewalks and over to the campground……it just takes minutes…..From now on the Park will be open from 11 am to 9 pm Sunday-Thursday and on Friday and Saturdays were open till 10 pm.  So our nites are late now.  We work all the Pm shifts.  The park stays open until the last week of Aug.  That week they will close on week days and only be open on weekends till the last of Sept.  As long as we stay till then, we will be paid a bonus money per hour we worked.  So it is worth it staying, especially as we still get free camping.   Its really a nice package deal.  More people are leaving every week, but they have their own issues.  Some depts. have their own problems, some of them can’t take the heat.    If you look at the whole deal, it is really a great seasonal job.  Just imagine if you received a pay check and didn’t have to pay rent or electric.  All we do is buy food.  Meals at the Commissary are cheap also.  Today we had Turkey, Dressing, Mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and green bean casserole.  All for $2 with your drink.   What a deal.

Stay tuned for my next blog…..We went and met friends last Friday and visited Rieman Gardens in Ames Iowa…..FABULOUS…..

 

 

Adventureland….We Are Here

We have arrived at Altoona Iowa to work our Summer Job at “Adventureland”.  It is a really cool amusement park.  I subscribed to an Emailed newsletter couple of years ago.  It is called “Workers on Wheels”.   It is emailed once or twice a week and is full of tips and jobs for workamping.  Last December I was reading it, and this job was posted.  It was close to home,  only 4 hours, free campground, and hourly pay with bonus at the end of the season…..Why Not….Filled out the app online that nite.  The next morning my phone rang.  It was Gary from HR.  We completed a 2 hour phone interview that afternoon, and with in several days all paperwork was mailed back and forth……..Now the fun begins…….We were able to pick our own areas.  I chose Games, and Rich chose Rides.  Now tell me, Who has never as a kid, had a dream to work in an Amusement park……

We arrived last week to settle in.  Were trying to learn the routine, but as most places go, their is some confusion, but were all working through it.  It has only been open on weekends this month, so we asked to take a walk through last Sunday as we have never been in the park before.  So here is some of the things we seen.

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This is the Space Shot…..Not for me…..lol.   The Space Shot is a 235-foot (72 m) structure that towers over Adventureland launching riders up at 4.5 G’s and ending with a free fall of negative 1 G.

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Storm Chaser……OMG…….way to high….  The Storm Chaser is a giant swing ride that takes you 260 feet off the ground and spins those brave enough to ride it around at 35 mph.

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Raging River….Now I want to do this one.   The water was a most beautiful blue….

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We took a ride on the Aerial ride over the top of the park.  This was a nice ride.  On the way we went through the circles and loops of their brand new Thriller Ride.  New for this Season.   “The Monster”   It is still under construction, opening the middle of June.

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Rich heard today it costs 9 Million Dollars……Wow….on The Monster you will climb straight up a 133 foot lift hill then dropped at a 101 degree angle. At the bottom of the hill you will reach a top speed of 65 mph. The next element is a large Overbanked turn where you will be redirected into a Dive Loop that goes directly into an Omega Loop after which you will go into a sharp curve that will take you into an air time hill then and Immelmann loop. The car will then go into its last curve and it’s final inversion a Corkscrew (roller coaster element). The ride in total has 2,500 feet of track, five inversions and it will be the parks newest coaster in nearly twenty years.  It is in the final stages of construction.  They are testing the cars every nite.  They load them with sand bags for weight and have to run each car at least 1500 times before they can even begin to certify it for safety.  The are in the last stages of landscaping.  Everyone is so excited, especially the management. We heard they will be running adds on the local radio for someone to Win the honor of the First rider on the “Monster”……

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We crossed over a bridge and see some cute little ducky’s with their parents and lots of catfish and a few carp.  People were feeding the fish.

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The little train had just loaded and was taking off on its trip around the park.  This is just a small sample of what we saw.  We finally left exhausted from walking.  We never made it to the back of the park.  They have several more huge roller coasters, and Adventure Bay, that will be opening Saturday, Memorial Day weekend.  It is a huge water park with large water slides, wave pool, Lazy River, and other things that we haven’t seen…………The next day I actually worked my first day.   Would you believe I worked the Duck Pond…..lol….Pick up a duck and check the colored dot and see what you won.   I did that from 11 am – 6 pm.  I had a 30 minute lunch.  It was a Monday and all the schools had come with their busses for field trips…..So many kids….They really had a lot of money too.  Several of the kids spent $20 and $30 just at the duck pond.  I always thought the Duck Pond was for the little kids.   You wouldn’t believe the teenagers that were fascinated by picking up a duck…..lol….Now it was really easy but for lunch,  I had to punch out right near the Duck Pond, but had to walk to the commissary on my lunch time, eat and walk back and then punch in again.  All in 30 min.  We are not allowed to take our lunch in the park or even buy food in the park.  We have a commissary that has hot food or sandwiches and we have to go their for our lunch break.  Well see how that goes.

The kids all had fun that day and were really very well mannered.  One kid who was around 12 was leaning on my stand and I asked him.  “Do you want to pick a Duck?……  No, I’m broke.”……. I said, ” well I bet you had a good time though”…….   He said “I was, but I was standing in a line for a long time and was almost ready to get on and they closed it”……..”Really I said, Why”?……. “Some kid Pooped In it”…..hahah….I wanted to laugh, but he was so down cause he couldn’t understand why they closed the ride when he had stood in line and was ready to go….Poor Kid…..

So back to the campground I went at the end of my shift.  Tired…..Hot…..

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This is on the walk back to the campground.  A small running creek divides the campground from the Park.  This is the bridge to walk over.  We also have Molly the Trolley that comes through the park picking up guests.

20160521_175244-1.jpg   We aren’t aloud to ride it in uniform.  It would sure make life easier.

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Here is our campsite.   Rather hard to see, but we have a picnic table and a tree.  Luxurys we don’t have in Texas.  Rich had his orientation finally yesterday.  He will start as an assistant on the Himalayan.  He’s working it all weekend.  This ride requires 2 to run it.

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This is a photo I copied from the internet.  Its about the best one I could find of the Himalayan.  The next day I was sitting out side and looked across the street.

20160521_110908.jpg  A flock of geese were out walking.

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Two came over by us looking for food.   Rich through out some chips and they ate them.  We also have a pond as you enter into the Campground, so between the creek, the pond and the water elements at the Park, their are really a lot of Geese and ducks all over.  You can hear them as the fly over a lot.  So today is Friday, the start of Memorial Day weekend.  What has it been doing the last 2 nites…….RAIN……But that always happens on this weekend.  At least one day.   A motor home lost their awning the other nite, and also a Pop up camper came in the other nite across from us.  They were up at 2 am as their awning blew up and over their little camper.  Today the park will begin being open full force every day……The summer season has begun…..Oh Boy….Here comes all the people and kids this weekend……We are working every day this weekend…

……..Life in the Amusement Park Begins…….